Men of a certain age have a right to feel a little disappointed. We’ve worked hard and provided for our families. We kept the mortgage paid and tried not to blow up when our teenagers put dents in the car while learning to drive. We changed our share of stinky diapers and even suffered through the car-pooling years. In exchange for these years of service we’ve received bigger bellies, receding hairlines, and ear and nose hair which grows so fast it almost requires a weed-whacker.
I share all of those middle-aged afflictions with you dear reader, and I do not offer any remedies. But what I can offer you is a pretty good bucket list. Just because we’re older, tubbier and slower than we were in high school doesn’t mean that we don’t still crave adventure and fulfillment.
1) Buy a motorcycle
You always wanted a motorcycle. When you were dating your wife you couldn’t afford one. When you finally were financially secure enough to buy one you had kids and house payments. The car needed fixed constantly and your wife said that a motorcycle couldn’t be enjoyed by the whole family. So you bought a mini-van instead and died a little bit inside every time a motorcycle burbled by.
But it’s not too late to buy a motorcycle. You may have less hair now but that doesn’t mean you won’t like getting into the wind and blasting down a lonesome two-lane road. And you don’t have to spend a small fortune either. A Triumph Bonneville is fairly inexpensive motorcycle with classic throwback styling and is comfortable riding two-up. You’ll be able to take your wife with you on weekend mini-vacations.
2) Finish Your Education
Not getting a college degree wasn’t a career breaker back when you could be comfortably middle-class by working in a factory. Manufacturing jobs provided good wages and benefits and helped pay your kids through college. Now it’s your turn. Finishing your education is especially important if you’d like a second career and have to compete with young college graduates. And going back to college doesn’t mean you have to go to a traditional university with a rigid class schedule. You can finish your undergraduate degree online or even enroll in an online MBA program without having to leave your house.
3) Travel Europe
You never got to travel through Europe. No smoke-filled Irish pubs or French beaches. But just because you never had the chance doesn’t mean you can’t do it now. And I’ll bet a trip to Europe will be met with more enthusiasm by your wife than your motorcycle purchase.
The easiest way to do it is to buy a Eurail pass for you and your wife while you’re still state-side.
This will allow you to travel through Europe by train anywhere you want to go whenever you get the urge. If you find a charming little town with a nice bed and breakfast tucked away in the hills of Northern Scotland you can stay a few days if you like. You don’t have to stick to a rigid schedule. The Eurail pass costs the same regardless if you only use the train a few times or whether you log nonstop train travel for the duration of your trip.
About the Author
Jesse Langley lives near Chicago. He divides his time among work, writing and family life. He has a keen interest in blogging and social media and is an advocate for online education.